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Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 2: Pac 12 Predictions

USC WR Robert Woods
The Pac 12 looked, in a word, terrible last week. They were one of two major conferences to lose a game to an FCS school (and almost lost a second), while also losing most major contests against other BCS level schools.
This week it gets even tougher for the Pac. Ranked teams Oklahoma State, Missouri and Wisconsin are on the table for some of the Pac 12 teams this week. Without some good performances against these teams the Pac 12 may face scrutiny throughout the rest of the season.

Arizona @ #8 Oklahoma State
Prediction: Arizona 14, Oklahoma State 42
Arizona had some serious struggles against a North Arizona team last week at home. This week they will travel to Oklahoma State, and it won’t be a pretty. The Cowboys have one of the best offensive games in the country and Arizona had a hard time scoring against North Arizona last week. I would be very surprised if the Wildcats can keep up with Oklahoma State, particularly on the road.

#23 Arizona State vs. #19 Missouri
Prediction: Arizona State 28, Missouri 10
Missouri looked about as unimpressive as anyone last week against Miami (OH). Their offense looked anemic and they let Miami stay in the game throughout the fourth quarter. Arizona State, on the other hand, was one of the more impressive Pac 12 teams last week. UC Davis is not Missouri, but the way Arizona State handled UC Davis looks promising for their season. Missouri will put up a challenge but ultimately home field advantage and a more impressive Arizona State team will win the day.

Oregon State @ #7 Wisconsin
Prediction: Oregon State 10, Wisconsin 49
Oregon State was one of two teams to lose a game against an FCS school last week. The other was Duke, who could pass as an FCS team on most occasions. If Oregon State couldn’t match Sacramento State at home there is little hope of taking out Wisconsin on the road. Wisconsin took it to UNLV last week and has an extra two days to prepare for this game. Injuries, suspensions and an overall feeling of being unprepared for the season will sink Oregon State for the second straight week.

#14 Oregon vs. Nevada
Prediction: Oregon 56, Nevada 17
Oregon will be coming off their first regular season loss in over a year this week, and they will not be happy about it. Nevada has been a good football team in the past, but the loss of Kaepernick coupled with a second week trip to Autzen will simply be too much. Oregon will come out scoring in bunches, leaving Nevada reeling early in the first half. The Ducks are still a top 10 team at heart, and they will begin their rise back through the polls this week.

#4 Stanford @ Duke
Prediction: Stanford 49, Duke 3
Stanford was the most impressive Pac 12 team last week, handling San Jose State with complete authority. Duke may be an even worse than San Jose State, as they lost their opener against an FCS Richmond team. Stanford will have no trouble this week as they continue to solidify themselves as the best team in the Pac 12.

California @ Colorado
Prediction: California 35, Colorado 17
Welcome to the Pac 12 Colorado! In their first game against a conference opponent this year I expect a better Colorado team then we saw on the field last week at Hawaii. Fired up and passionate will only get you so far though. Colorado will keep the game close through the first half, with help from their fans and a general excitement surrounding the game. In the end, however, California is a better football team and will play like it in the second half. If the Golden Bears can keep the score close after the first two quarters expect a much better performance in the second half. The Buffalo may not win a Pac 12 game this year, but I do expect them to be somewhat competitive.

Washington vs. Hawaii
Prediction: Washington 28, Hawaii 24
Washington almost allowed a huge upset last week against Eastern Washington. Luckily they escaped that game with a win and have another even match up this week against Hawaii. Hawaii took out one Pac 12 team last week, but this week should be different in multiple ways. Washington will play a better game overall but will not be able to hold Hawaii off. Expect some late game heroics by either team to decide this game. Both teams are very even, so I give my call to Washington at home.

Washington State vs. UNLV
Prediction: Washington State 28, UNLV 17
Washington State beat Idaho State senseless last week, and it was pretty impressive for a team that has lost almost every game it has played in the last few years. However, disaster did strike on their first possession when their outstanding quarterback Jeff Tuel broke his cavicle. He will be out for a few months while he nurses that injury, and yet I don’t think Washington State will roll over and die against UNLV. They will play a close match, but I think Washington State will be able to overcome their QB problems and win their second straight game. A very impressive feat for them as team.

Utah @ #24 USC
Prediction: Utah 28, USC 31
USC barely escaped Minnesota last week, while Utah looked terrible against Montana State. Both teams should wake up this week in Utah’s first conference game as a BCS school. Expect the Utes to give USC about as much as they can handle throughout all four quarters. The Utes may or may not be a force in the Pac 12 this year, and this first game against USC will be a great way to gouge their talent. I will give the close call to USC at home in the Coliseum.

UCLA vs. San Jose State
Prediction: UCLA 35, San Jose State 14
San Jose State will play their second game against a Pac 12 team this week, and luckily for them it is not Stanford. UCLA is no Stanford and San Jose State should be able to keep the game much closer than their previous battle. The Bruins lost their first game last week against Houston, but managed to keep the game fairly close throughout. With that in mind I expect them to play a complete game at home against San Jose State. The game will be a little closer than UCLA would like, but the Bruins will be able to win the game by at least 2 scores.


  1. For clarity, Tuel wasn't injured in the first possession of the game as he didn't start because he had the flu. He started the 3rd possession of the game for the Cougs and was injured during the 3rd play of that series.

  2. Ah thank you. I had read an article stating that he was injured on the first possession and went with that.

    Either way, its probably not good news for the Cougars. I really liked Tuel.

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